Our delicious Gin of the Month this April is Sanction’s very first flavour - Pomegranate and Jasmine. Brand new, packed with sweet fruit and a touch of floral flavour, this is a seriously smooth must try. We’re so proud that Matt, the man behind the gin, chose to launch through none other than our very own selves. We love Sanction Gin Pomegranate and Jasmine and know you will too!
We caught up with Matt and gave him a grilling (or maybe just a light toasting) to get the inside scoop on all things Sanction.
Sanction Gin was inspired by a trip to Iran in February 2016, the month after the UK travel sanctions were lifted, I was working in the country and collecting ingredients such as Almonds and Saffron for my hobby of home distilling. Unbeknown to many, the best ingredients for Gin making in the world can be found in some of the most ‘interesting’ countries to visit, such as Almonds from Iran, Angelica root from Russia, Cardamom from India and Cassia bark from Hong Kong. I was lucky to work in all these countries and collect ideas for our botanical list, I finally took the plunge and registered the company on the morning of the EU referendum, the 23rd June 2016, whilst I was sat in Madrid airport about to board a flight home. I was on the phone with our artist War Boutique and he laughed and said ‘what have you got to lose’, so I thought I’d go for it, registered a company and called it Gin Without Borders. The company has one simple aim, to highlight the flavours of the world, and bring them all together, in an ultra-premium, ultra-inclusive London Dry Gin.
TASTING! Definitely tasting new gin and tonics and experimenting with new techniques and flavours. The growth in gin and tonic flavours is fantastic and offers so much opportunity to create a perfect serve. At the moment, we are testing some barrel ageing and a new flavour, which will hopefully be ready for the Autumn, naturally, Gin Festival will be the first to know when we are ready to launch the new products!
A close second to tasting would be meeting fellow gin fans at events and festivals, hearing what they think of our products and how they create their own perfect serves at home. With our latest gin - Pomegranate & Jasmine, the flavour profile is fruitful and delicate, we tried to serve the flavour gin fans like, whilst keeping our London dry characteristics. I hope you like it.
It tastes amazing, beautifully balanced, smooth and full of flavour.
Brother in law Kev Mcgee, Matt himself and Bion Taylor, his best mate, at Wylem Brewery round the corner from Sanction HQ:
Before we decided to make gin for other people to enjoy, I had enjoyed experimenting at home with flavouring base gins and other spirits with dried fruits and spices etc. The challenge is isolating a particular flavour and understanding how each botanical will interact when combined. This requires some serious note taking, which I strongly recommend is best done whilst on the sober side of the tasting session, lol.
Credit must also be given to our master distiller Charles Maxwell from Thames Distillers, during the recipe development Charles’ experience in combining flavours and market knowledge, really justified his reputation as one of the best distillers in the country. Charles guided and experimented with our botanical list and created an ultra-smooth gin, which went on to win three silver awards at the International wine and spirits competition last summer.
Winning the Silver Award at the IWSC with master distiller Charles Maxwell and Matt's lovely wife, Victoria:
Sanction Gin London Dry is a super smooth 43% gin, the citrus combines perfectly with the herbs and roots and yet, the cardamom find its way through without taking prominence over the other botanicals.
The Navy Strength is a gunpowder proof flavourful version of our London dry, at 60% it’s perfect for making cocktails, when the flavour of the gin can really come alive in a perfect serve.
For our first flavour we used our favourite garnish, pomegranate, paired with Jasmine, which gives a fresh super fruit flavour and a delicate floral taste. The inspiration for choosing Pomegranate was not just our love of it as a garnish! Pomegranate is native to a region from modern-day Iran, through Afghanistan and Pakistan to Northern India, so its fits in with or vision to hunt down the best ingredients in all corners of world. With the Jasmine, one of the few things I drink more than gin is tea, all kinds of tea, and whilst we were experimenting with the pomegranate flavour in the gin, I was drinking jasmine tea and thought it would provide a delicate floral aftertaste to the juicier flavour of the super fruit, I hope you agree.
We do, it’s a great combination!
I would like to acknowledge the support and encouragement so many companies and people have given to our brand, from the initial discussions over a year ago, to the product you see today, it's been a long and hard road, and not one for the faint hearted. If you love reading legalisation and how to pay taxes, sitting exams and paying out a small fortune before you have any products......the spirits business is right up your street!
At the centre of our success is Charles Maxwell from of Thames Distillers, Charles doesn't need our praise or recognition, but he deserves it. From day one, Charles invested a lot of time into ensuring Sanction Gin is a true reflection of our brand and our aim to showcase the flavours of the world.
When choosing a distillery location, there really are very few as experienced as Charles, and we are very privileged to work with Thames Distillers.
When asked why we didn’t distil our own gin, apart from the enormous financial burden, I’d quote Charles, who said: ‘I could give you all the ingredients, but you couldn’t bake the cake’.
Gin Without Borders are honoured that Gin Festival customers will be among the first to taste Sanction Gin Pomegranate and Jasmine, and we think the Gin Festival cocktail masters have produced a fantastic Pom Collins. [see recipe here!]
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